I have been running all over the place here lately, but this week I got assigned back to one of my favorite runs. I ran a load up to Connecticut, and I am now being dispatched back to Louisiana on a deadhead run just so they can get me back in time to grab the next load back up to Connecticut. I am covering a lot of ground this week. It feels good, and it makes good money.
My dispatcher called me a few weeks ago to congratulate me on being the top producer last month. I asked him about another driver in our fleet who is a lease/operator because I knew he had been burning up the roads also. He told me that the lease/operators are not on this list because they are independent contractors, and this list just included the company drivers. He then said, "Let me look up his mileage though, and I'll tell you how you guys compare." Here's what he had to say in response to his search, "Oh, I can't believe this. He beat you by six miles! But here's the kicker. His logs have red marks all over the place, and yours are perfectly clean! You are killing it!" What that means is that my friend is having to run illegally to keep up with me. It is very important that we understand how to manage our time and work our logs so that we are not breaking the law. I enjoy this job too much to risk it by damaging my reputation for safety and reliability.
On my mind today is one of my favorite things about this job, and that is going home to be with my wife. I have discovered that absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. It is a great sacrifice to be separated from one another, but it is also a great joy to be reunited for a brief few days each month. I actually took a whole week off this month and it was thoroughly refreshing. My dispatcher never disturbs me when I am at home, and he always tells me, "You take as much time as you need. Just let me know when you are ready to get back to work."
I always tell my wife to not schedule things around me. When I come home I want her to keep up with whatever things she has already scheduled. The timing of my comings and goings are never completely accurate, and I don't expect her to jump through hoops just because of my presence. It just so happened while I was at home she and our daughter Sarah had something planned where they were going to be gone all day, and I encouraged them to keep their commitment. I don't think I hardly got up off of our very comfortable couch that whole day. It sounds lazy, but it was actually pure pleasure just being home resting and taking in the sensory rewards that the familiar and secure surroundings of home provide.
I got to see my friends from church, I took care of several medical appointments I had set for that week while I was at home, and we even got to have a very nice dinner at our house to celebrate Sarah's birthday. I love to cook, and I got to spend some time in our kitchen. There are few things more rewarding to me than preparing a nice meal for my family and/or friends.
Here I am in the kitchen laboring over a new recipe I had found to be interesting. It was shrimp boiled in butter, broth, and beer with a custom blend of Cajun seasonings.
We all enjoyed being together. We had some fresh bread with garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese.
My lovely wife prepared us a wonderful Caesar Salad.
It just doesn't get any better than this! Fresh Salad, Fresh Bread, a Steaming Hot Pot of Shrimp, a beautiful woman, and your children to share it all with! I had a great time at home with my family.
We ate the shrimp right from the pot and dipped our bread into the spicy broth. It was all good. I think I prefer my traditional boiled shrimp which we cool before eating, but it is always fun to try some new culinary adventure. We finished it all off with the one thing that Sarah requested for her Birthday - a Cherry Pie!
Oh man, I have got to stop posting this information. I'm wanting to go home again, and I am starting to get really hungry!
This life on the road is very rewarding, but there is nothing that compares to the love and fellowship I enjoy with my wife and children. Going home is probably my favorite thing about this job. I love to provide for my family's needs, but even more enjoyable is being there with them and sharing the fond affection we all have for one another.